Kolkata, October 30: Steve Coppell’s ATK have had a minor turnaround in their fortunes of late in their Hero Indian Super League 2018 campaign but they will face a big test of their credentials when they face Bengaluru FC at Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, Kolkata (Salt Lake stadium) on Wednesday (October 30).
Under Coppell, ATK had disastrous start with home losses against Kerala Blasters and NorthEast United FC. Since then, the Kolkata club have recorded victory against Delhi Dynamos, held Jamshedpur and notched their first home win by beating defending champions Chennaiyin.
“A win at home is just another win. It seems that it’s hard to win at home in the ISL. But we won the last game and we’ll look to build a momentum going forward by winning again,” said Coppell.
Having made a host of changes in personnel over the summer, ATK will be delighted that their star forward Kalu Uche got off the mark in the win against Chennaiyin.
What Coppell will be relieved about is the fact that his team have broken their goal-scoring drought at home this season after firing blanks against Kerala and NorthEast.
Another man who got off the mark in ATK colours in the win over Chennaiyin was John Johnson, the former Bengaluru defender who will line up against his team-mates for many-a-years on Wednesday.
Johnson will have critical role to play in keeping clean sheet for his new club. ATK is among the only two teams yet to keep a clean sheet so far this season.
“Every coach loves clean sheets, we work to try and get clean sheets. We have none so far and it’s probably our number one priority tomorrow,” the English coach said.
Keeping a clean sheet against a Bengaluru side with Miku and Sunil Chhetri in their ranks will not be an easy task though. Last year’s runners-up have made a flying start under new coach Carles Cuadrat with their front-men pair in Miku and Chhetri being among the goals.
Of the six goals they have scored so far in the league this season, Miku and Chhetri have accounted for all but one. “They scored a lot of goals last season and the idea is to bring the best out of them this year too,” Cuadrat said about the duo.
“They are professionals and they have the hunger to put on a good show.”
While Bengaluru have been strong at home, it is their away form which has been sensational for some time now. The side won seven of their nine away games in their debut season last year and come into the Kolkata clash on the back of five successive away wins.
When we face @ATKFC, we represent more than just the battle for three points. Tomorrow, the Blues will turn out in a third color, one that supports JSW's ecofriendly green cement, a revolution that saves energy and ensures optimal utilization of resources #BluesForGreen #BFCCares pic.twitter.com/TOITjDAJLC— Bengaluru FC (@bengalurufc) October 30, 2018
Cuadrat will be hoping Bengaluru can maintain their stronghold over ATK with the side having won both the games against the opponent last season.
Can ATK change that on Wednesday? For that, they will need to score their first-ever goal against the Blues first.
Match kicks off at 7:30pm IST
Live on Star Sports Network
Live Streaming on Hotstar
Source: ISL Media